News | Thursday, 6th December 2018

#MadeAtMcrMet: Manchester Metropolitan University recognised in UK’s Best Breakthroughs list

Manchester Children's Book Festival and Mother Tongue Other Tongue celebrated by MadeAtUni campaign

Mother Tongue Other Tongue
Mother Tongue Other Tongue chosen as an example of how UK universities are at the forefront of some of the world's most important social initiatives

Manchester Metropolitan University’s work to widen children’s involvement in literature has today been named as one of the UK’s 100 best breakthroughs for its significant impact on people’s everyday lives. 

Initiatives by Manchester Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan, whose Creative Director is the Poet Laureate Professor Carol Ann Duffy DBE, are honoured in the UK’s Best Breakthroughs list.

The publication highlights the Manchester Children’s Book Festival (MCBF), an annual festival coordinated and directed by the Manchester Writing School. Its mission is to widen access to reading culture for children, families and carers, and to support new writing for and by children and young adults. The MCBF brings literature, and those who write it, to an audience of children, schools and families, delivering sustainable, long-term social and cultural impact.

It has benefitted more than 40,000 pupils, teachers, children and families in the UK and worldwide.

In addition, MCBF initiative Mother Tongue Other Tongue (MTOT) is a multi-lingual poetry competition, which supports participants to bring their mother languages and cultures into the classroom and to gain a greater appreciation of those of their classmates. It makes difference a creative opportunity rather than a barrier. Devised and led by Carol Ann Duffy, it celebrates cultural diversity and the many languages spoken by people in Britain today.

Now in its sixth year, more than 14,000 pupils have engaged with the project. In 2015, it was sponsored by World Champion boxer Amir Khan and, in 2016 and 2018, it received the endorsement of Nobel Peace Laureate Malala Yousafzai.

The list of breakthroughs demonstrates how UK universities are at the forefront of some of the world’s most important discoveries, innovations and social initiatives.

The MadeAtUni campaign aims to shape public perceptions of universities

The list was compiled by Universities UK, the umbrella group for UK universities, as part of the MadeAtUni campaign to change public perceptions of universities and bring to life the difference they make to people, lives and communities across the UK.

It follows independent research undertaken by Britain Thinks which found that the public has little understanding of the benefits of universities beyond undergraduate teaching. The findings show that research is one of the key triggers to change opinion about universities but for many people, it is an abstract concept.

Professor Malcolm Press, Vice-Chancellor of Manchester Metropolitan University, said: “Manchester Metropolitan and universities around the country make a significant difference to the world and have real impact on individual’s lives. It is important that people can hear our stories, that they know what we’re doing and understand the difference that we make. At a time when some question the value of universities, understanding and appreciating our impact at the broadest level is critical. We’re extremely proud of the work of our academics and how their work affects people, lives and communities.

“The MadeAtUni campaign is an incredibly important initiative as it allows students, alumni, the local community and the wider population to understand the work that we do and the impact it has.”

Professor Dame Janet Beer, President of Universities UK, said: “Universities really do transform lives. The technology we use every day, the medicines that save lives, the teachers who inspire – all come from UK universities and the important work being done by academics.

“The UK’s Best Breakthroughs list is a testament to the difference that universities make to people’s lives and we want everyone to join us in celebrating the work they do.”

The UK’s Best Breakthroughs list: 100+ Ways Universities Have Improved Everyday Life was put together in partnership with universities across the UK. As part of the MadeAtUni campaign, every university in the country was invited to nominate the one thing from their institution which they believe has had the biggest impact on people, lives or communities. Over 100 universities submitted a nomination. The entries cover health, technology, environment, family, community, and culture and sport.

Find out more about the UK’s Best Breakthroughs and the MadeAtUni campaign.

Find out more about how we are celebrating #MadeAtMcrMet - the ways that the University shapes lives in the city, region and beyond. 

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